Hollingsworth, Josephine T.

Source: Ancestry.com Operations Inc. 2000

Josephine T. Hollingsworth

Josephine Tomlinson Hollingsworth was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Library Board of Trustees in 1905 when Mr. Hughes relocated to Burlington. She previously had been a member of the People’s Library Association and actively campaigned for West Liberty to have a public library. She was elected the Board Secretary in May,1905 and held this position for sixteen years. Due to ill health, she resigned as secretary in November,1921 but remained a board member until her death in March,1922. [1]

Josephine was born July 18,1848 at Beallsville, PA, the daughter of Carver and Mary Ann Tomlinson. The family moved to Putnam Co., IL in 1852. [2]  After reaching maturity she was a teacher in the local schools. [3]  She married Mahlon Hollingsworth in 1886 and joined him at his farm home near West Liberty, Iowa. This was her husband’s second marriage; the couple had no children. [4]  After their farm home burned in 1888, they built a home on Calhoun St. in West Liberty where they spent the rest of their lives. [5]  Mr. Hollingsworth passed away in February,1901. [6]

Mrs. Hollingsworth led an active role in her community.  She became a charter member of the Floriculture Society in 1896 and through her encouragement, the Society was a continuous supporter of the library. As a Quaker, she conducted final services for members of her faith when the local Friends’ church disbanded.  She was described as having a “gracious and gentle manner”, beloved by all. [7]  She died March 6, 1922, from cardiovascular disease [8] and is buried at North Prairie Cemetery near West Liberty. [9]

– Pam Schnittjer


[1]  West Liberty Library Board of Trustees Minutes, Vol One, p. 75, 105, 143; Vol. Two, p. 3, 77.

[2]  Davenport Democrat and Leader, Davenport, IA, March 7, 1922, p. 13.

[3]  1880 U. S. Federal Census, Magnolia, Putnam, Illinois, p. 13.

[4]  1900 U. S. Federal Census, Wapsinonoc, Muscatine, Iowa p. 12 B

[5]  Wapsie Index, West Liberty, Iowa,  Aug. 3, 1888,  p. 1

[6]  The Muscatine Journal, Muscatine Iowa, Feb. 19, 1901, p. 8              .

[7]  Iowa City Press Citizen, Iowa City, IA, March 7, 1922, p. 1

[8]  Ancestry.com. Iowa, U.S., Death Records, 1920-1967 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017.

[9]  Ancestry.com. Iowa, U.S., Cemetery Records, 1662-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.